Published: February 1st 2016 by Random House AU
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Goodreads ● Booktopia ● Bookworld
Lovers in Kaya have always died together, bonded in death as in life. But rumors of a cure are rife. A team of young Kayans will be sent on a quest to find the answer. The very nature of love is at stake.
The beautiful but reckless Finn has never shied away from danger, and ending the bond means more to her than anyone knows. This adventure sounds thrilling, but Finn has always been willing to risk too much, and for the first time she has something—or someone—to lose.
Crown Prince Thorne, in the neighboring land of Pirenti, has grown up rejecting the legacy of his father’s blood, keeping caged the beast that lies dormant within. But the moment he sets eyes on the wild girl from the Kayan cliffs, his usual caution is thrown to the wind.
As the world crumbles around them, can Finn and Thorne cast off the shadows to find a love stronger than either imagined? Or is their true challenge to embrace the darkness within?
I really enjoyed Avery, so I was eager to dive into Thorne and continue the adventure with a new cast of characters. It’s taken me months to read this book, but that’s not because it wasn’t engaging or boring — lots of personal issues factored into the time it took me to start and finish Thorne.
In fact, McConaghy should be praised for writing a story that I could instantly fall back into, even after weeks of absence. I only had to open the book to remember which POV I was reading, what was happening, and why it was interesting.
The idea of bonds and bond-mates gripped me in the first book, and so I was a little wary about Thorne because it dealt with destroying it. However McConaghy does a wonderful job of setting out the arguments for and against the bond and letting the reader decide where they stand. I sill love the idea of it, but I can see how destructive it can be as well.
While Ava and Ambrose make an appearance in this book, along with Rose and a few other old favourites, the story is predominantly about Thorne, the heir to the throne, and Finn, a young Kayan girl with many secrets and a heart of gold. Thorne is as different from his father as it’s possible to get – a gentle soul born into a berserker’s body who has to constantly fight for the right to live. When he’s sent to Kaya as a good-will gesture to celebrate the peace between the two nations, he falls in with a rag-tag bunch of kids. Finn, who has a taste for danger; her twin brother Jonah, a warder in training; their adoptive brother Penn, who has secrets of his own; and Isadora, who harbours the most dangerous secret of all.
There are many points of view in this book – not only Finn and Thorne but also Falco and Quillane, Emperor and Empress of Kaya, and (briefly) a few others. Some readers may find this confusing, but I kept track of everyone despite my long absences from the book, so it’s definitely an issue of personal preference.
This story spans almost the length and breadth of Kaya and Pirenti, taking us from the cliffs of Limontae to the warder forests, from the royal palace of Pirenti to the northern mountains. There’s a map in Thorne, but I didn’t flip to it once – I found it easy enough to track the journeys the characters took. The plot takes us deeper into the mysteries set out in Avery; not only secrets concerning warders and berserkers as well as some historical background that I found interesting. It’s obvious that this world exists fully-formed (or near to it!) in McConaghy’s mind and we’re being allowed glimpses into it as the story unfolds.
I had a few issues with the writing style when I read Avery, but I found I was looking forward to the richness of McConaghy’s prose in Thorne. There are some absolutely beautiful phrases and passages in the book, and I’ve decided that I really like McConaghy’s style!
I loved Thorne. Slightly more than Avery because I didn’t have to endure the physical and emotional abuse of Thorn-Rose. This story world has grown on me and I’ve come to respect McConaghy’s storytelling. I love her characters and her prose, and am looking forward to reading Isadora in August.